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"A short and easily-readable book that will explain to both Americans and Canadians why the War of 1812 mattered in the histories of their two nations. For those who seek insights into this subject during the bicentennial commemorations of the war, this book is the place to start. Its contents provide far more that merely the military history of the failed American campaigns against Canada between 1812 and 1815. Those events are set in the larger contexts of the development of the North American continent and the crisis of the Napoleonic Wars in Europe. The book is short, up-to-date, and contains a useful guide to other writings about the War of 1812"--